First redress payments welcome, but urgent work still to be done, say Alliance representatives

Alliance representatives Paula Bradshaw MLA and Connie Egan MLA have said the First Minister's announcement in the Assembly today the first institutional payment towards redress for the victims and survivors of historical abuse of children has been received is welcome, but it reinforces the urgency of the work still to be done.

Paula Bradshaw Connie Egan TEO

Chair of the Executive Office Committee, South Belfast Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw, stated: "We noted with interest the announcement in the Assembly by the First Minister the Good Shepherd Sisters have now contributed to redress for historical institutional abuse of children.
"I spoke to Barnardo's last week to establish it will also contribute shortly, as was also confirmed today. These are significant steps.
"Nevertheless, a lot of work is still to be done to secure payments from the institutions with the largest responsibility for the gross harm and abuse of children which occurred. To this end, I received an assurance from the First Minister the option of legal action against them to secure payment remains on the table, and I would urge her to pursue it imminently.""
Deputy Chair of the Executive Office Committee, North Down Alliance MLA Connie Egan, added: "Despite the welcome steps made, the largest institutions responsible for child abuse have still made no payment at all, nor even confirmed they will do so. This tells victims they have not recognised the harm and suffering they caused.
"The fact is they have had long enough to prepare, having been told the process would result in a requirement for redress payments fully 14 years ago.
"Therefore, while we recognise the sensitivities involved, the time for requests has passed, and payment must now be demanded."